The Anchor: 5 reasons why Digitization may not happen even by Oct 31

26 Jul,2012

By Pradyuman Maheshwari


It was unfortunate to see broadcasters forced to change their business projections and content strategies when digitization was less than a month away from the scheduled dates in June. And, now, the information one seems to be getting from the ground in the four metros is that the October 31 deadline also may not be met with.


1. Momentum is lost: TAM CEO LV Krishnan said this in an interview to me last week. The urgency to go in for set-top boxes and the momentum that existed in April and May has been lost.

2. The masses will wait and watch. Making it mandatory for cable operators and MSOs responsible for giving info is of no use. It’s the public – you and me – who have to be motivated enough to buy the box and go digital.  Don’t be surprised if the conversions fail  to pick up till the last week…

3. Analogue will not vanish in the lower strata: TAM may not measure these homes in the four metros, but that’s not really a concern for lakhs of families who can’t afford a set-top box and the revised tariff.And just as it’s impossible to control petty crime, I don’t think the government will be able to nab the pirates in the metros.

4. Old set-tops offer < 500 channels: Remember, the true pleasures of digitization will be felt only when you can watch those obscure television channels… Jewelry Television, may be. Or Create, a channel that shows D-I-Y and assorted instructional programming. Regrettably, many of those who embraced digital early own set-top boxes that may not be able to accommodate 500 without a tweak

5. MIB must lead from the front: Any significant process for change must be led from the front and with the minister, her deputies and the secretariat on the ground. Are they doing it? No visible signs yet.


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